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Advection of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) larvae along the Catalan continental slope (NW Mediterranean)

AuthorsSabatés, Ana CSIC ORCID ; Salat, Jordi CSIC ORCID ; Palomera, Isabel CSIC ORCID ; Emelianov, Mikhail CSIC ORCID ; Fernández de Puelles, María Luz; Olivar, M. Pilar CSIC ORCID
KeywordsAnchovy larvae
Continental waters
Engraulis encrasicolus
Issue Date28-Feb-2007
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationFisheries Oceanography 16(2): 130-141 (2007)
AbstractThe Gulf of Lions is one of the main anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) spawning areas in the NW Mediterranean. During the spring, low-salinity surface water from the outflow of the Rhône is advected by the shelf-slope current along the continental slope off the Catalan coast. In June 2000, a Lagrangian experiment tracking these low-salinity surface waters was conducted to assess the importance of this transport mechanism for anchovy larvae and to determine the suitability of the tracked surface waters for survival of anchovy larvae. The experiment consisted of sampling the tracked water parcel for 10 days with three drifters launched at the core of the shelf-slope current where low-salinity surface waters were detected. The survey was completed by sampling the surrounding waters. Anchovy larvae from the spawning area in the Gulf of Lions were advected towards the south in the low-salinity waters. The size increase of anchovy larvae throughout the Lagrangian tracking closely followed the general growth rate calculated by otolith analysis (0.65 mm day−1). However, advection by the current was not the only mechanism of anchovy larval transport. A series of anticyclonic eddies, originated in the Gulf of Lions and advected southwards, seemed to play a complementary role in the transport of larvae from the spawning ground towards the nursery areas. These eddies not only contributed to larval transport but also prevented their dispersion. These transport and aggregation mechanisms may be important for anchovy populations along the Catalan coast and require further study
Description12 pages, 11 figures
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Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos

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